Powder embossing method for selective loading of polymeric microcontainers with drug formulation

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The present study introduces powder embossing as a novel method to enhance loading of polymeric microcontainers with drug. With current loading approaches, it is not possible to handle pure powder drug in a scalable, homogenous and reproducible manner. In this work, we demonstrate simultaneous loading of 625 microcontainers with powder formulation. This is achieved in a single step by aligning a shadow mask prepared by micro-milling to an array of microcontainers in order to limit drug deposition to the container cavities with diameters of 220 μm. A pressure of 8.9 MPa is applied by a bonding press and thereby the desired powder is embossed into the container cavities. Powder in the form of pure drug, lipid-based microparticles, and pure polymer was successfully loaded with minimal residues in between the microcontainers and with 100% loaded cavities demonstrating the versatility of the method. The current work is thus contributing to the loading of powder formulations into microscale drug delivery systems such as microcontainers in a facile and reproducible manner.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Microcontainers
  • Shadow mask
  • Micro-milling
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Microtomography
  • Oral drug delivery


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